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The last 175 days: while we’ve been away

Looking back at the last 175 days of lockdown

It’s hard, or more so impossible, to distill the last 175 days into one profound thought or learning. Where would you even start?

Well, as Julie Andrews once said, the beginning is probably a good place for it. Back when lockdown was still a myth, social distancing was just a phrase and we were all still in the office, things were changing. Fast. And it was already crystal clear that this was going to affect everyone and everything.

Work was drying up. It’s easier to say that now that we’re starting to see things return to somewhat normal. However, at the time, it was scary. But we knew that we weren’t the only ones affected. So, we made a decision to set up Let’s Keep Talking: a community-building initiative that focussed our attention on helping local businesses by offering our expertise and social platform to amplify whatever message they needed to at the time.

It was an idea that, despite our fear for our own situation, we knew we had to act on. At one point the Let’s Keep Talking initiative was technically our only live client. We did everything we could to keep busy and we did everything we could to help where possible. And we’re proud to have done it.

In fact, it’s that sense of flexibility, nimble aptitude, and willingness to put ego aside to work differently that has been our saving grace over the last 175 days. We’ve developed new ways of working and new priorities; Microsoft Teams is now second nature and communication has never been higher on the agenda. In fact, in tandem, they’ve led to swifter meetings, franker conversations, and stronger relationships with our clients than ever before.

It’s even led to us pushing our strategic thinking further, in order to help ourselves traverse this new world and, more importantly, to help our clients do the same. We penned a piece called ‘The New Retail’ to aid the responses to new consumer behaviours on the high street; another called ‘Boom or Bust’, which explored the retail potential of the overlooked Baby Boomer generation; and another entitled ‘Navigating the Digital Blur’, which explored harnessing the relationship between online and in-store environments. It’s forced us to take pause and think ahead, which has proved to be enlightening and inspiring in equal measure.

So much so that when the opportunity arose to pitch for new business, we took it…even though we were scattered across the home counties. We couldn’t hunker down in the war room, pin up a glorious array of scamps or shout ideas across the studio. But, we could brainstorm on Microsoft Teams, send each other copious WhatsApp messages and…celebrate a win a week later.

The process was different, but the principle was exactly the same. And, if there were to be a defining characteristic of the last 175 days, that would probably be it.

Agency life has rolled on with around 651 client meetings scheduled, 2701 hours subsequently spent on Microsoft Teams to produce amazing work for them and even four award nominations to boost our morale.

And life, in general, has done the same; we’ve had one pregnancy announced and one baby born; 12 birthdays celebrated and even two pets adopted.

Given everything that’s happened and everything that hasn’t, it’s hard, or more so impossible to predict what will happen over the next 175 days. But, one thing that is for certain is that TCC will continue to be agile, to adapt, and to approach the dauntingly uncertain world as one full of opportunity, rather than fear.

Written by Team TCC
September 15, 2020

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